Tag: Equivalence

If Babel Had a Form Translating Equivalence in the Twentieth-Century Transpacific

Free Download Tze-Yin Teo, "If Babel Had a Form: Translating Equivalence in the Twentieth-Century Transpacific"
English | ISBN: 1531500188 | 2022 | 256 pages | PDF | 3 MB
"The likeness of form between Chinese and English sentences," writes the American Sinologist Ernest Fenollosa around 1906, "renders translation from one to the other exceptionally easy." If Babel Had a Form asks not if his claim may be true, but what its phantasmic surprise may yet do. In twentieth-century intersections of China and Asia with the United States, translations did more than communicate meaning across politicized and racializing differences of language and nation. Transpacific translation breached the regulative protocols that created those very differences of human value and cultural meaning. The result, Tze-Yin Teo argues, saw translators cleaving to the sounds and shapes of poetry to imagine a translingual "likeness of form" but not of meaning or kind.